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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Singing in the Classroom

I read  this quote today: There's no half-singing in the shower, you're either a rock star or an opera diva.  Me--I'm a rock star!! :)  But do you see the looks on the faces in this cartoon?  I think my students look at me the same way when I sing in the classroom.  I can't carry a tune to save my life---but I enjoy adding music to my classroom.  It breaks up the day just perfectly.  One of my students today said, "She has a song for EVERYTHING."  I have figured out I can put almost anything to "If You're Happy and You Know It."  So I thought I'd add some songs that I have found/sang/chanted through the years.  I'm currently just working on calendar songs.  Maybe all my blogging friends would like to join in the same?  I'd love some fresh ideas! :)  As the year progresses, I will add more songs and categories to the list.  Click here for the PDF!!   Happy Singing Y'all! :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pumpkins Galore! ;)

It was a beautiful day here in Ohio. It felt rather "fallish"---and well, this time of year, I begin to think about pumpkins!  I love anything pumpkins....pumpkin rolls, pumpkin bread, pumpkin fudge, pumpkin cake, pumpkin bars---I think you get the point--I like my sweets! :)  I told my son and daughter that we'd make cookies today---and I believe they are holding me to that--so I need to do my post quickly.  We are making White Chocolate Pumpkin Dreams.  You can get the recipe here.  They love these and I haven't made them since last year. Sidenote--I truly enjoy Taste of Home. This is probably one of my favorite cookbooks.

Okay, so now to the school related part of my post....we started school this past Monday, but students didn't come until Thursday.  I have 20 beautiful firsties in my room.  I have assessed about half of them on letter identification, letter sounds, number words and color words.  They did well for the most part, but I felt they needed more practice with number/color words---and we know I have pumpkin on the brain--so here's a pumpkin themed sort (ohh and if you make the recipe--feel free to ship some to my house!) ;)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Where did my day go??????

Today was the first day with my firsties.  All in all, it was a GREAT day.  I had forgot how much time it takes to  help them put away school supplies, mark supplies, color, work, cut, glue---WOW!!  I've been out of the first grade loop too long.  I always do calendar on the first day of school----to get them into routine---but I have NO idea where my day went.  It turns out that it worked out for the best for me---because as "organized" as I think I am, I have NO clue where I put my calendar headers.  Hopefully that works out for you guys too.  I created safari themed headers for you to print, if you'd like.  Maybe tomorrow I will get into my regular routine...I sure hope so!!!  Have a great year blogging friends!! :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Time Saver Tip

Have you ever felt OVERWHELMED/STRESSED/UNPREPARED????  That's exactly how I feel right now.  I don't think I've ever felt so unsure of what I was doing until this week.  School starts Thursday with kids, and I have an in-service tomorrow.  I have to admit I am really NOT a good listener.  I usually doodle, plan, etc.  That's SOOOO wrong I know, but I do hear what they're saying---I just feel like I need to utilize all the time I can in making sure my kiddos have a great start to a school year.....NOW that I'm done babbling----- I'm sure you have all heard about writing "left at home" and "right back to school" for homework folders. I used to write these on their folders..then I started purchasing labels.  I picked up 150 ct. Avery Labels for just a few dollars at Walmart.  I found a Template online at Avery, and made my labels to match my safari theme. You can get them here.  I feel like I haven't posted in so long that I'm kinda out of the loop of what's going on in the blogging world.  I need to catch up on blogs, make and post some more things.  I would LOVE to hit 100 followers.  Maybe I will make it a goal to post a new center when I hit 100......nahh...who am I kidding?  I will post something as soon as I make it so I can share with all the wonderful people in blogging world!!! 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom---I have to get things done in my room!!!

Hello blogging friends and followers!!!  I'm headed home from Disney (BOO!) and have a working laptop (my husband's--yeah?).  I have all my cute clip art on my computer (which is still not working), but I've missed the blogging world so I thought I'd make due with what I had on his. One of my FAVORITE books is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. I know that Kindergarten teachers probably read this to my kiddos before they get to me, but like I tell my students---great books are meant to be enjoyed again!  This story I believe is a GREAT review for 1st graders with alphabet letters.  Here are some activities I have found/modified/created to use the first few days of our school year!!  Enjoy!!! 

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Sorry I'm MIA.  I had every intention of blogging on the way down to Florida.  We had the computers charged, the phones tethered---and then my laptop cord quit working.  UGH!!!  I could have used my husband's laptop, but his doesn't have the cute clip art on it! :)  ANYWAYS-----I'm HERE, and loving every minute of it. I think I have decided to stay here forever.  If you've read my profile---you know this is my favorite place.  My kids were so excited, but it took them until the Florida Welcome Center before they realized where we were going!  I will be back to the blogging world soon......I have a 16 hour drive home (with a working laptop) YAY!!!  Have a great school year to those that are already back!!!! 

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Little Class That Could....

This book is one of my favorites!!  It has been since I was a little girl and my mom would read it to me.  I of course have to read it to my firsties.  I used to have them just write a sentence saying I can ___ on regular paper and would bind it into a book.  I'm trying to get a little more "cutesy" with things I do in the classroom (thanks to all the wonderful blogs I have seen).  Here is my latest creation....The Little Class that could.  Each student will get a piece of the writing paper to color and to finish the sentence with something they can do.  Then use the cover sheet to bind into a class book for later use.  (I would laminate the pages---but sheet protectors work ohhh so nicely.)  Would love some comments and followers if you download! :) 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Do you remember this game?  It's an arcade game---looks like this:

I used to love that game...so when my daughter was younger, we got her this version:
 We played that game a lot as a family--especially after my other came along.  Now there's the card version.  Connor (my son) and I were playing this game yesterday:

When it hit me----WHAT A GREAT math game (or color game, or shape game).  I created a game with addition facts to ten.  When students flip over their card, if the sum matches that of another player, you hit the mallet....very similar to the Whack-A-Mole game.  You can click here to get it

Also don't forget to check out First Grade Fanatics to see what I gave them to use for their 14 Days of Summer Countdown.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Counting down with giveaways!!

Erin and Leslie at First Grade Fanatics are counting down the days of summer!  Starting today, they are doing a 14 days of summer countdown.  They have teamed up with some AMAZING bloggers (and they included me) to share their FABULOUS creations.  There is at least one freebie everyday among the bloggers---AND they are having a HUGE giveaway from their TpT store.  Here is what you could win:

Head over to their blog to see how to enter! Giveaway ends Saturday, August 13th!


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Top 10 Reasons I Know It's Back To School

Reagan at Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits is hosting a Back-To-School Linky Party.  These are a hoot to read!!  You can click her blog button to join in on the fun!

Here are mine:

Top 10 Reasons I Know It’s Back to School

10) My husband has been nagging me that I’m still on summer break (however, he’s been saying that since the 2nd week we were out of school as I started planning then lol)

9) My internal clock kicks in 2 weeks before school (or maybe that’s my kids?)

8) Back to School Shopping has begun (okay, so I like to shop regardless of the season---but this gives me a legit reason to shop for my own children)

7) I’m checking out the Staples preview ad to see if there’s any better deals the next week (Our nearest Staples is about an hour away)

6) I'm on the internet A LOT—blogging, pinning, creating, searching (Facebook has kinda been pushed to the side—FOR NOW---have to keep up with the current events you know?)

5) I start creating lists for everything I need (and then forget where I stuck them)

4) My house has teacher stuff stuck in every closet (out of view---HATE clutter---but don’t open my closets)

3) I’ve already been in my classroom---and am sorta ready—(but then again, are you ever REALLY ready?)

2) I’ve been working on the things I created this summer with my son (who will be in Kindergarten) just to see how they go over!  

***And the number one reason I know it’s time to go back to school---I take the last week before school starts to do something every day with my kids! Last year, it was mini-trips (zoo, caves, hiking, etc.)---This year, they have a surprise trip to Disney!!!  (What am I thinking going on a week’s  vacation before school starts?----Love my job----but my kids are my World)

Saturday, August 6, 2011


I had to edit the font on the Chrysanthemum stuff I made.  If you happen to download a pdf from here---and there's spaces in the fonts...I didn't do that on purpose.  Please bring it to my attention and I will either email you the corrected PDF or change the link on here.  I'm beginning to think that google docs does not like my choice in fonts.  If anyone has any suggestions--or know how I can fix that, please let me know! :)

Craziness, Stress--AND Back to School (all go together well, don't ya think?)

This poor zebra----Can anyone besides me relate?

At this point--there can NOT be a crisis next week as my schedule is already full...so here It's 3:44 p.m.  I'm just sitting down to eat lunch---and I can TOTALLY relate to that poor zebra. Today is the first day of our county fair.  This is my daughter's first year in 4-H and she thought it would be a GREAT idea to take cooking and rabbits.  OHH boy!  Actually, I've enjoyed the rabbits---but it's going to be sad to see them go....guess it's a good thing we are leaving for vacation after the sale....AND what was I thinking going on vacation the week before school starts?  AHHH!!  There goes the craziness again.  To top it all off, we're in the process of selling our house and an out of town buyer wants to view it tomorrow (you mean I have to clean?...how can I blog, and pinterest, and google for new ideas----I'm sure all of those words are verbs lol)--As you can see, my priorities are not cleaning my house, but hey, I'm eating lunch!!  ANYWHO----since I'm busy the next two weeks, I need to take every minute I have and make the most of preparing for back to school.  I have several favorite books I like to read within the first week of school (hopefully I will be able to post more mini-lit units for those...but did I mention how crazy things are?).  One that I do like to do is Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes.  It's a great book for the first day.  I've complied a list of activities, poem, story cards, worksheets, and a craft into this mini-unit.  You can click HERE to get it!  I hope that you're able to use something---and if you are---feel free to drop me a comment. I do enjoy them! :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Cheap, Fast, and Easy-----

Though these are from a casino---the black container reminds me of  film canisters. Be a great way to roll the dice!
That was always my Mom's motto on cooking...so, taking her motto in mind....I thought, well maybe things for the classroom should be the same?  Not much is needed for these activities.  Students will need crayons, pencil--and dice.  (By the way, Dollar Tree has dice in both a mulit-colored pack and white pack.  They used to have the big foam dice, but I can't find them anymore, and I've been to several looking.)  We use Envision Math, and I thought that this would be good first of the year math pages for either independent or center work. One page is Roll, Color, Tally--up to 12.  The other page is comparing numbers to 6. If you are able to use them, feel free to leave a comment---or suggestion.  Feedback is ALWAYS appreciated.  Thanks! :)

OHH, as I was typing this, I went and made another one.  It's like the comparing number sets to six, but I made it up to twelve.  You can get it here:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bowling---A Perfect Ten?

So I saw this on Pinterest---it is Jill from Meet the Dubiens FABULOUS idea.  She posted it on Ucreate with Kids.  I love how it's using recycled materials, how it's brightly colored---and above all FUN and affordable.  My own kids have been wanting to go bowling--something I've not done with them...though I guess if I did, I'd have reason to use the gutter lane, huh? ;)  I think this would also be fun in the classroom.  Here's an activity that I think would also be fun in the classroom....making a set of ten adding 3 numbers.  My husband said that I shouldn't call it a "perfect ten"---but isn't it ten-pin bowling?  Who's right?  I'm taking comments---as long as you side with me! lol

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"Paws-itively" Plural

Okay---how cute is this puppy?  One of these days, I will own a Corgi---but that's another discussion.  I was going through my reading series and saw that it focuses on plurals early on in the year.  I thought I'd come up with some center ideas for plural and singular nouns.  There are several suggestions listed in the file--so maybe there could be several centers (review).  Click the Corgi to get the plural packet! :) 


I'm headed out to do back-to-school shopping.  I haven't "shopped" for a while (it's been almost 3 weeks--*sigh* I know, right?) The last time I went shopping, I found those cute little rubber stamps in the target dollar bin (y'all know the ones I'm talking about).  I got to thinking I need to put those to good use (with directions)--and I've seen those cute little picture icons posted for easy directions on Pinterest and other blogs--so that triggered this: 

Since I've already mentioned in my centers section that I always have a spelling center, I thought these directions may be simple enough for everyone to understand--without taking away extra time from my guided reading groups. 

Off to shopping---I don't think I'm allowed to search the dollar bin at Target, or go to any teacher stores though.  My hubby thinks I've already accumulated too much stuff over the years.  (I guess I'm kinda a teacher hoarder---BUT--it's organized, does that count?)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Classroom Pics!

I've been spending some time in my classroom---trying to get it ready.  I'm glad I went in today, because I feel like I got quite a bit accomplished.....though not done, it's a HUGE start.  Here's some pics of my room:

My calendar board---We graph weather, make patterns, make change (to represent the day--and I use real coins), practice counting by 2s, 5s, 10's.  We work on place value, days of the week, months of the year, evens/odds----all the regular stuff!   :)

On the blue pocket chart, I post spelling words and vocabulary words.  You can see my dry erase board (which I use a Mimio with---no SmartBoard :( , but this works).  The bulletin board has the Beanie Baby Strategies (still need a dolphin and a raccoon).  I use the Phonics Dance/Wilson's Fundations--so that's what the green pocket chart is for.  You can also see where my guided reading takes place.

This isn't a great picture---but here's a closer view of the Beanie Baby Strategies. 

My Reading Hut..(ignore the cords in the back dangling from the TV---OHH how I hate cords!) As for making it---we (my hubby mainly....mostly....okay, my idea--he did the work) used 9 pieces of Bamboo (Hobby Lobby--$2 each on sale). Two of those 9 pieces were cut in half to make the top and bottom supporting sides. He used a 3 1/2" bolts to attach the pieces. He then put the jute around it to cover the bolts around the corners. We used the bamboo beach mats from Big lots for the sides and back. We just stapled it a few times around the bamboo (Velcro would probably also work nicely). To prevent my floor from scraping (Because my janitors are AWESOME and it's so shiny)---We used square pieces of felt that we rubber banded together to make like a cinch sack. The top is just a decorative fishing net, and then I threw the child's size raffia skirts (from Dollar Tree) over top. 

The zebra stool (bench---which also has storage in it) was purchased at a yard sale a few summers ago---I didn't have a place to put him....hope he works out okay there.

 I love the size of my classroom.  See all my wonderful storage?  It's on both sides of my walls (which makes it hard for a word wall), but I love the roominess....

So it's not 100% done, but it looks A LOT better than it did Saturday! ;)


Just a random post this morning---but Have you heard of this website?  WOW is all I can say.  It is amazing all the ideas you can find from here.  I need a rainy day just so I can lay around and be lazy--and BROWSE.  I have just started looking around at all the great things here, and I click a picture, and find OTHER things I like. If you haven't had a chance to check it out, sign up.  You'll be glad you did.  You're more than welcome to follow me---but I am in BAKING heaven on this site.....not a lot of teacher goodies on my boards....but you'll be amazed at the pages after pages of ideas, places, foods,----it's quite addictive. 

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